Cracked Vessels

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.”

-‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:18‬

This is kind of an incredible verse!

Here God is saying He has seen my ways — all my ways. Even the not-so-great ones. But instead of washing His hands of me He tells me He will heal me. Because I’m broken. My wandering ways are a result of my brokenness, and God not only acknowledges that, but He takes the brokenness and says “I am going to heal it”.

He doesn’t just say He’s had enough of me or my mistakes and failures. He heals me. He leads me. He restores me.

God is ready to take the broken, shattered pieces of my faults, my failures, my mistakes, and put them together. Once I realize that and finally let go of the pieces He Will put me together so that His Love and His Light can dwell in me and others can see that light in the cracks that make up my vessel.

So I lay down my pieces. I am done trying to put them together myself in all the wrong ways. How about you?

Advertisements

Tunics, Cloaks, & Miles

If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
– Matthew 5:40-41

secondmile

As a child of God, a follower of Christ, a member of the New Jerusalem, I am to be sanctified, consecrated, set apart. I am not meant to blend in, to be a member of the pack.

What does this look like? How am I supposed to be set apart? John 13:35.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

The love of God surpasses all love. His love goes beyond the love of this world. According to this world we love only those who love us. And by love, I mean we love until it no longer benefits us, then we move on. We “fall out of love”. We are taught by this world to love very conditionally, as long as it is convenient or we see that it is good for us. Why do you think people are so screwed up and why there is so much brokenness?
We accept this distorted, demented view of what the world tells us love is as truth.

Real love is nothing like this idea of love we have adopted from the world.

Real love is unrelenting.
Real love is uncontainable.
Real love is unconditional.
Real love is unyielding.
Real love is putting down my own life for the person in front of me.
Real love is death, even death on the Cross.
Real love is going the second, third, tenth mile when I am asked for one.

No part of love is about myself. Love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5), but seeks the joy and fulfillment and salvation of the people around it.

IS MY IMAGE OF LOVE SELF-SERVING OR IS IT SELF-SACRIFICING?

Taylor Swift, You’ve Gone Too Far

Have you heard Taylor Swift’s new song, “Blank Space”? I came across it on my newsfeed today, and I have to say, even 1 minute into the song it made me so sad–sad for our society, sad for the lessons we are teaching our young women, sad for what we now think is acceptable.

Here are some of the lyrics from her song:

Saw you there and I thought oh my god
Look at that face, you look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, wanna play…

Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

I’m sorry, but when did this become okay? Since when are hearts and love something to play with? Since when do we look for our “next mistake” like giving parts of ourselves to other people is no big deal?

Our hearts are precious. They are so valuable. They are not something to be toyed with or something to just throw away to anyone who walks by.

According to Proverbs 4:23, Solomon advises us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). Above all else! Not as an after thought, not as a yeah-it-might-be-good-if-you-did-it kind of thing! Above anything else, he instructs us to guard our hearts! They are so valuable and everything we say and do and think comes from what is inside our hearts! When we throw our hearts away to any passerby, we begin to view ourselves as worthless, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. When we break our hearts with each “mistake”, we find ourselves broken, and everything we do and think stems from that brokenness.

Why not instead take care of our hearts? Guard them, as Solomon says? Why not teach ourselves, our sisters, our daughters, that our hearts are so precious, so valuable, instead of teaching them that their hearts are worthless and nothing more than a play-thing?

Normally I am a Taylor Swift fan, without any shame in admitting it, but today? Today I found myself unbelievably disappointed and disturbed by the message she is sharing with the girls and young women of the world.

Let us use our words and our influence over others to lift them up and help make them whole instead of breaking them down and telling them they have no value.

Bitter Is My Heart

Last night was not a good night for me. Regrets and bitterness and brokenness all seemed to catch up to me. I was overwhelmed. I was consumed. I was drowning.

I had been able to keep my head above the waters for so long, but suddenly it seemed I had lost focus, and just as Peter began to drown, so did I. And as Peter cried out to Jesus, “Save me!”, I found myself crying out to my Papa.

peterdrowning

The quiet time reading for that day came from Lamentations:

Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall [bitterness].
My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
(Lamentations 3:19-26)

Sometimes our hearts remember the bitterness. Sometimes our souls remember the times we fell and the times we were destitute. Sometimes our souls sink within us.
But we also must also allow ourselves to recall that our God is not just God, but also our Papa, and that He loves us and is faithful and full of compassion.

What is bringing you down? Is it feelings of regret? Feelings of foolishness? Brokenness?
Instead of letting it bring you down, you bring it to the One who is good and who will do only good for you. Be honest. Tell Him you are hurting. Tell Him you are broken. Ask Him, plead with Him, to lift you up and to help your soul seek Him and put your hope in Him. He won’t turn away, trust me.

Never forget that He is merciful and compassionate, and He cares deeply for you.

Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

IMG_8637.JPG

It’s taken me two months, but I’m finally starting to feel like me again.

These last few months I’ve been on a hard, broken road, without any level ground in sight. But finally, finally, I am becoming myself again.
It hasn’t been easy, and there have been days I’ve wanted to quit, to give up, to throw in the towel. But now? Now I have hope. Now I have happiness. Now I have the will to live life the way I should.

How?

A little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.

When all the chaos started in my life I denied it. I fought tooth and nail against everything that was happening. I was fighting those I loved. I was fighting God. I was fighting myself. I refused to believe that things were spiraling the way they were.
Well guess what happened. Things just got worse. Outside and inside.

Then I surrendered everything to Jesus. I gave Him the situation. I gave Him my desires. I gave Him my heartbreak, my shame, my hurt.
It wasn’t an overnight difference, but from the moment I decided to give it all to Jesus and to fill my time with Him, He started the healing process.

And yeah, I’ve still got a ways to go, but for the first time in months I’m finally beginning to feel like Marina again, to feel like the daughter of the King.

I am valuable. I am royal. I am loved.
And I know it because I have allowed the grace of God to pour into my life by giving it all up to Him.

What is keeping you from discovering your value and purpose?

What is God telling you to give up to Him?

It’s time to live our lives as the royalty that we are. It is time to surrender all to the King so He can lift us higher than we thought possible.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. (‭Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭8-9‬)

If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

Twice in the same day, in two different conversations, brokenness was discussed with me.

In the first conversation I was told that I needed the brokenness I am experiencing.
In the second, brokenness was discussed as a treasure from God.

This is so counter-intuitive. Everything in our life is done to avoid brokenness. We do everything we can to make sure our hearts are not broken. We work hard to avoid failure. It’s survival of the fittest, right? We do what we can to ensure that we are strong, that we are successful, that we are whole.

Brokenness sucks. It hurts. It demands that we acknowledge our own helplessness. It proves that we are not, in fact, as invincible as we thought.

Brokenness is also freeing, though. Brokenness forces me to realize that I am not strong enough, that I really can’t do anything on my own to make myself whole and unaffected by the world. It’s freeing because it isn’t up to me to make things better. It isn’t up to me to fix myself. I am not expected to do anything other than bring my brokenness to the one Person who can and will fix me. This realization, the acceptance that I am broken and that I cannot fix myself, pushes me closer to the only One who can make me whole.

I can tell you out of personal experience that I have never been as close to God as when I have been going through some sort of heartbreak. Never in my life could I say that I have actually felt God holding me except for when I found myself in the fetal position on my bedroom floor, unable to stop sobbing despite the continuous flow of tears that have been forcing their way out my eyes for the past 3 hours (true story…on more than one occasion, I hate to say). There is a level of intimacy that I reached during these terrible, painful times that I never could have reached otherwise.

So, yeah, brokenness really, truly, absolutely stinks. But good can come out of the heartbreak. You learn things about yourself and about life. You find yourself relying on God and not so much on yourself.

It hurts now, but I promise if you hold on to the Healer of broken hearts, you won’t regret it.